The Second Edition of the much awaited Raymond presents ‘MTV India Music Summit– Many Musical Journeys, One True Note’ was indeed a listeners delight by all means.
Set at Fairmount Jaipur, a heritage fort palace property, an ode to the pink city in itself, the 3-day musical extravaganza held from 12-14 October was a subliminal experience one of its kind, not only to the connoisseurs of Indian classical music but also to the lovers of Indian heritage and art.

Those who were present, experienced the purest form of music starting at 6 am till midnight across various genres and venues, be it the grand ballroom with exquisite old silver chandeliers to the ‘ Saheliyon ki bari’ an exotic poolside ‘Baithak’ to open air Rock-show set-ups,all enchanted the listeners with a mix of performances ranging from Indian Classical Music, Ghazal, Sufi, Jazz and Folk music genres, well-curated by Musiconcepts. The festival turned out to be a must-attend music fiesta ideal for the connoisseurs of music who wanted to listen to the music in its purest form, as it brought light on the various elements of music like ‘Taleem’ in Hindustan classical music and key elements of composing, importance of language and various genres in presentations, bringing out the key essence of music and its creation.

Created by founders Mala Sekhri, Ambika Srivastava and Aparna Joshi, the second edition of the summit was a congregation of musicians from across the country and beyond Bollywood and commercial music, who came together to give the audiences a glimpse into the vast repertoire of the music as an art form.

Lamp lighting at the inaugural ceremony.

The grand inaugural ceremony began post lunch on a shiny afternoon at the grand ballroom with the lighting of the lamp, that was attended by renowned musicians like L. Subramaniam, Usha Uthup, Hariharan, Sujaat Khan, Suresh Wadkar, Robin Barnes, Ajay Prasanna along with founding partners of Musiconcepts Pvt Limited, and creators and conceptualisers of the summit — Mala Sekhri, Aparna Joshi and Ambika Srivastava and the Poet-lyricist Prasoon Joshi and Sanjay Behl CEO Raymond.

The India Music Summit – Many Musical Journeys. One True Note was proud to have on board a host of partners and sponsors including: Brand USA, Vedanta, Bhilwara, Volkswagen Passat, Rajasthan Tourism, Britannia, Nescafe Gold & LIC and Partners including :Pashma, NCPA, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Modern Stage Services, Black Dog, Kingfisher, ArtKonnect, Concept Travels and Conferences.

In his augural address Sanjay Behl, CEO Raymond, the presenting partner said,

Raymond as a brand is very keen in associating with anything which is rich in Indian heritage.Raymond has been strongly associated with Indian art and craft and have been supporting the ‘Khadi movement’. Raymond is in its iconic 93rd year since its inception and I think MTV India music summit is a great way ahead for us to contribute in preserving our traditional Indian Classical Music and various genres representing our rich cultural ethos.We as a brand take a lot of pride in showcasing our Indian culture. I do not think there is any other country in the world, which can showcase such cultural diversity and richness in tradition in all forms of art.

Behl urged the corporate world to join him in this movement to promote Indian arts and cultural heritage.

The man behind the Summit, Poet -lyricist Prasoon Joshi, said

This festival is trying to create a balance between the choices of the people, sometimes we reflect the choices of the people and sometimes we try to shake them, MTV Indian Music summit is trying to do the both, while latter is more difficult. This is a platform where the musicians can perform what they want to perform, instead of what we want them to perform. I would like to make a point here that, the need of the hour is to have more seekers of great music and poetry, than just being passive consumers of whatever is being thrown to us.This festival is not just about performing music, but also, talking about music, different compositions, genres and languages used while composing a musical piece. Today, We need ‘Kansens’ i.e better listeners as much as we have Tansen’s i.e performers.

Prasoon concluded his address by singing his own composition “Seekhona naino ki bhasha piya” that has been originally rendered by the classical virtuoso Subha Mudhgal.

The Festival began with a scintillating choir presentation by Mizo Cardinal Choir from Aizawl winners of the Grand Prix in the 4th Asia-Pacific Choir Games held in Colombo in 2017, who started with Bollywood hits to singing some great Assam folk compositions, that were peppy and foot thumping. While the Song Bird of New Orleans, Robin Barnes, with her high pitch powerful vocals enthralled all the jazz lovers with her power-packed performances.

Usha Uthup in conversation with Mala Sekhri shared interesting insights into her early life, beginning from her childhood days to her first stint in Bollywood and the journey of her life wrapping it up with her most talked about Kanjivarams, that being her style statement. Uthup enthralled the audiences with her powerful sonorous voice singing her all-time hits like ‘Dam Maro Dam’ and many more at an evening session.

It’s wonderful to be a part of anything that revolves around music and MTV India music summit is an absolutely brilliant platform to experience music and also meet up with different artists and musicians with whom you can exchange views and learn. – Usha Uthup

Usha Uthup in conversation with Mala Sekhri
Manjari Chaturvedi’s mesmerising performance.

The Kathak exponent Manjari Chaturvedi with her exquisite dance presentation ‘The courtesan Project’ presented the compositions, artistry and repertoire of the courtesan era in her distinct style, which was followed by a conversation with Saif Mehmood, wherein she brought light to the courtesans of India who were indeed the most empowered women of their times.

 

The sitar maestro Ustad Sujaat Khan drew the audiences closer with his intricate gayaki ang presentation of various compositions starting from raga Shudh Kalyan ‘Mandal baje ri’ followed by yaman kalyan,a thumri and a ghazal that came along with interesting trivia on his journey how the maestros Ustad Vilayat Khan, Ustad Amir Khan and Pt.Bhimsen joshi contributed to his art.

 

The Ghazal maestro Hariharan serenaded the audiences with his melodious voice and intricate ‘Alaaps’ and ‘Taankari’ articulately embellishing his chosen set of Ghazals. In his characteristic style, he started the evening with ‘Jhoom le haas bole ke pyari agar hai zinagi and ‘kash aisa koi manzar hota’ from the album kaash, leaving everyone mesmerised, as he woved magic, the audiences hummed along with him. The mehfil concluded with his Bollywood hit ‘Tu hi re’ on audience request, that went on till midnight.
The second day was all set with an exciting line up of artists that began with early morning ragas by the Hindustani classical music exponent Shruti Sadolikar who with her powerful, sonorous voice rendered raga Miyan Ki Todi, a raga that is connoted to be composed by the Miyan Tansen himself, who was one of the nine jewels in the Akbar’s court. Her performance was followed by Suresh Wadkar’s devotional music presentation of the form ‘Abhang’ as he sang devotional pieces of saint Dhyaneshwar and Eknath Maharaj. Talking about Abhang as an art form Wadekar said,
Abhang, as the word connotes to something that is indestructible and bestows continuity. It is a divine art form that connects both the singer and the listeners to the all mighty.
The summit also brought light on the art of music creation and the years behind it in an interesting workshop session ‘Taleem’ by Ustad Sujaat Khan who brought light to the intricacies of sitar playing the alaap, gat, jhala and the ‘gayaki ang’ wherein he eloquently sang Khyal bandishes, thumris, ghazals in his fluid style built on lyricism and feeling, that flowed like a soft delicate breeze making creative waves, that bestowed freshness in the midst of its relaxed placid flow.
Shujaat Khan in concert.
The classical series included Begum Parveen Sultana who enthralled the audiences with a Vilambit Khyal in Raga Purya Dhanashri that was followed by the famous drut laya bandish ‘Payaliya jhankare mori’, a thumri and finally giving an ode to Maa Durge on the occasion of Navratri celebration,her most popular Bhajan ‘Bhavani Dayani’. Aruna Sairam the Carnatic music exponent presented the midnight melodies in her session ‘ragas by night’.The second day of the festival was concluded by the popular singer Shilpa Rao who chose to render some of the choicest of Ghazals of the yester years like ‘Ranjish hi sahi’, ‘Aaj Jane ki zid, ‘Dashte Tanhai main’ haunting her audiences with her deep melodious voice and a poise ‘adaigi’ rarely seen amongst singers of her age!
The renowned Khyal and Thumri Maestro Pt. Chhannulal Mishra began the third and last day of the festival with a thumri in an early morning Raga Nat Bhairav ‘Sajna sang jage sari rain’ intricately demonstrating the ‘Bol banav’ of purab ang thumri,thereby instilling the romantic mood ‘Sringara rasa’, thus enthralling the audiences with his presentation. The tarana in raga Hansadhwani ‘tanom tanana derena tadare dani’ showcased his mastery over the ‘layakari’ as the maestro effortlessly played with the tala demonstrating Aad, dedh gun, dugun, tigun, chaugun and athgun, the tala multiples.
Presenting the bandish ki thumri  ‘ab na bajao shyam’ panditji portrayed eight sakhis as they requested sham ( their beloved) not to play the bansuri as it haunts them,with articulative usage of  each note depicting a different expression as he did ‘bol- banav’.The maestro presented ‘dekho dekho kaisi karat hai e rar’  a traditional thumri of Benaras in raga Shankara,which has been enacted upon ‘ bhav’ by great kathak masters like Birju Maharaj and Shambhu Maharaj, while through his thumri ‘Rang rangili chabili brij naar’ portrayed a cheerful young maiden of braja,who looks ravishing in her colourful attire. On the occasion of Navratri the mastro payed an ode to maa durge with the bandish ‘jai durge maiya’  and concluded the recital with a shiva hori ‘khelein masane main hori digamber’.
Kailash kher began his scintillating rendition with a shiv stuti ‘jata tavi’ followed by ‘main to tere pyaar main divana hogaya’ depicting a lovers mysery who’s gone insane in love.For the audience of the host state kher presented the Rajasthan melody ‘aavoji’ in his high pitch sonorous voice, that was followed by the Arabically stylised melody ‘Tauba tuba and the Sufi number’ ‘Rangdini’. Talking about MTV Indian music Summit Kailash said,
The audiences are the kings of today, as they are the ones to patron and protect our ancient music and traditional art forms. MTV Indian Music Summit is about a ‘saccha sur’ and I feel Ambika, Mala and Aparna are tridevi’s who have got together to pay a tribute to maa Durga as I see ‘Ambika ke naam se Mala Arpan ho rahi hai.’
The session on Language and Genre brought intrinsic insights on the importance of language and genres while composing music.The session discussed ‘why the quality of literature has gone down and included eminent lyricists and poets like Nadeem Shah, Khalid Alvi in conversation with Mahtab Alam. Shah talked about Urdu as a dying language and what needs to be done to save it by saying,
Patronage is the only way out for bringing Urdu on the forefront and to popularise Ghazal. It’s not the question of Urdu as a language alone, but it’s sad to know that today’s generation doesn’t even know how to speak Hindi properly. We need to have a feel for our culture and appreciate our languages.
Adding to the conversation Khalid Alvi talked about Ghazal as a genre saying, “Ghazal can’t be translated in the common language since it’s the language of the poetry that is very different from the spoken language.” Differentiating between a Ghazal and a Nazm Alvi said, “Ghazal has different shades with different themes, while Nazm has only one theme.” Talking from the audiences the lyricist Prasoon Joshi added, “We need to work on to learn and understand the languages like Urdu, since if the Shayar(poet) has written something in Urdu with due efforts, the readers must try to understand and find out what has been said, even if they need to get hold of a dictionary. It’s important to equip oneself with the intricacies of a language than to find easy outcomes and common translations.”
A presentation followed the session by the internationally renowned Guitar Exponent Prasanna, who started his recital by intricately amalgamating the Jazz and the Hindustani classical music styles with Raga Yaman following which he played ‘Human Nature’ by Michael Jackson.

The EndNote –A tribute was indeed a heartfelt experience wherein the legends Prasoon Joshi, Aruna Sairam ( Carnatic vocal ), Ambi Subramaniam( violin), Pandit Ajay Prasanna ( flute), Indranil Hariharan and Amit Choubey(Tabla) together paid a tribute to the father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi singing ‘Vaishnav Janto’.

MTV India Music Summit was indeed an amalgamation, where all genres of music and creative forms and brands united in harmony, spreading the message of Unity in Diversity that India bestows!

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